Monday, November 9, 2015

Cohen's Birth Story

My due date with Cohen was September 7, 2015 and I was told our baby boy was measuring very large.  When I had Avynlee, my first epidural wore off after two hours, my second one didn't work at all, my third one broke after being inserted, and my fourth was a different medication and made me feel very odd but didn't help at all with the pain.  Because I didn't feel I could trust epidurals, I decided to take a hypnobirthing class this time around.  In class we learned that having a baby can be pain free.  That may be true for some people but was certainly not the case for me, but I am super glad I took the class this time around because I learned coping methods that helped me handle labor and delivery so much better.

I started noticing random contractions throughout the day on August 31st.  I woke up with painful contractions every now and then through the night.  On September 1st, I had contractions about ten minutes about all day long.  I texted Adam and Mary Jo to have them on alert thinking baby time would be any minute but they never got closer together.  Some were more painful than others and I pretty much didn't get anything done all day.  On Wednesday the 2nd, Adam was working from home and I continued having regular contractions between 5 and 8 minutes apart almost all day long.  I was okay for the most part but extra tired because contractions had kept me up two nights in a row.  We went to the doctor that afternoon thinking I would be admitted but found out I hadn't progressed much after all.  We went to Mary Jo's house where I continued having regular and very painful contractions.  A couple even made me cry, which could have had to do with the fatigue and frustration as well.  We ate dinner at my parent's house (more contractions and crying) before driving home (much more contractions and crying).

We got home around 7 or 8 pm.  I kept trying to cope with my contractions.  I listened to my hypnobirthing stuff and scored about 30 minutes of sleep.  We got Av in bed and I kept finding different ways to cope with my contractions.  I learned that the birthing ball made them so much worse.  Standing, swaying, and arching my back while on my tip toes seemed to help the most.  I was induced with Avynlee so never had any experience with any of this.  Around 10 pm, my contractions jumped to 3 minutes apart.  We woke Av up and asked Kim and Mary Jo to meet us at Riverton hospital.  Being in labor in car is not my favorite but I handled it for the most part.

We got all checked in and the charge nurse, Vicki, said I was dilated to a 4 and admitted me.  I was a little bummed to only be at a 4 but at least I got to stay.  Vicki said that with how strong and close my contractions were, it wouldn't be too long.  I was in active labor with Avynlee for 13 hours so I really hoped Vicki was right.  Because other nurses were busy and Vicki wasn't too busy, she stuck with us for most the time which I was really grateful for.  She was amazing.  Adam help me cope handle my contractions with coaching and counterpressure for a few hours

At 2 am I was dilated to a 7 but my water was still intact.  Vicki asked if I wanted my water broken which would surely make my contractions more difficult but would likely lead to a baby quickly.  I went back and forth for a while about having my water broken and possible trying an epidural again.  Adam really thought I could continue naturally and do just fine.  I was so tired and scared our baby was enormous and was nervous I would struggle.

I decided to have an epidural and have my water broken.  They also started me on a low dosage of Pitocin. The anesthesiologist was great and I had almost instant relief with my epidural.  I couldn't feel any contractions for about half and hour and then it started wearing off.  I could feel my contractions and had to breathe through them but wasn't in significant pain.  The anesthesiologist was surprised I could feel my contractions and kept increasing the meds while adding nausea meds because the epidural made me super nauseous and dizzy and caused my blood pressure to drop really low.  It wasn't great but not too bad.  I was nauseous and threw up several times but never on myself which is better than before!

A little before 4 am Dr. Merrill, the on call doctor, came in and we got ready for pushing.  Cohen was transverse so he had to be manually rotated.  Because my epidural had nearly worn off I felt that and it was pretty uncomfortable but I wasn't miserable and I was glad I could feel each contraction because I knew when to push without being told to.  It was really the best of both worlds.  It took a few cycles of pushing to get Cohen moved and in position and then a few more cycles to get him here but it wasn't too bad.  I wasn't crying or miserable, just nauseous.  I  actually felt very alert and energized.  Those pregnancy hormones can do crazy things for a person.

Cohen was born at 4:15 am on Thursday, September 3, 2015.  Dr. Merrill quickly cut the cord and handed Cohen off to the respiratory therapist right away to be suctioned out.  Cohen drank and inhaled a bunch of amniotic fluid that had a bit of meconium in it.  I watched and waited for my baby while delivering the placenta and getting stitched up (I tore). At 5 am, I finally got to hold my baby.  He weighed 8 pounds 5 ounces and was 20 inches long.  It turns out he wasn't as big as predicted.  I really wish I hadn't let his potential size freak me out so much.  We got to stay in the labor and delivery room until around 8 am which was terrific.  Even though I hadn't slept for three nights in a row, I was wide awake and just wanted to hold, feed, and love on my baby.  Our boy was immediately a fan of eating and would try to gobble up the air like he would the amniotic fluid while still in my belly.  He kept forgetting he was out now I guess!  The nurse asked if he could have a pacifier because he was pretty much always rooting and trying to each (not much has changed...this baby loves food).  Pretty much nothing went according to our birth plan but it all still was perfect.

Avynlee was our first little visitor and she was immediately smitten with her brother.  She held him and said, "I have a little song for you!"  And started sweetly singing Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star.  I almost cried.  That moment was magical and perfect.  Mary Jo, Taylor, Sarah, my mom, and my dad all visited us in the hospital.  We spent the whole day just enjoying our baby and our visitors.  I like to stay at the hospital as short as possible but having a baby in the middle of the night kind of prolongs that a little.  We weren't going to be allowed to leave until around noon the next day.

The next day we had the task of naming our baby.  We had an even harder time this time!  Adam's top choices were Conrad and Orion.  I liked Jude and Atticus.  We decided to go down the list until we had one in common and Cohen was the winner!  It was neither of our top favorite names but it is a terrific name and it seems to suit him.  Cohen's middle name is Howard.  After Adam's parents divorced, his mom married Kim Howard.  So Adam's mom, stepdad, and three brothers (two step brothers and a half brother) all have the last name Howard.  I made the distinction for posterity's sake but the members of the family don't seem to.  There are no steps or halves really.  Just parents and brothers.  I love that and I am glad our little guy gets a little piece of that in his name.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015


I'm 37 weeks, 4 days pregant.  Pretty much this little fella can come tomorrow or in a month.  The beauty of it is that I am not made privy to this information until the last minute.  Wonderful.

I've been cleaning my house like a crazy person lately.

Backstory: I've managed to contract pneumonia twice this pregnancy and am finally recovering from the most recent bout.  When I am that sick and this pregnant, our house (and sometimes our child, to a small degree) is a bit neglected.  It got pretty bad.  Now that I'm on the up and up I have a lot to make up for in the house keeping department.  I'm even deep cleaning...walls are getting scrubbed, floors are getting mopped.  It's pretty legit.

Don't get me wrong.  My house still isn't clean.  My three year still lives here.   The point is, I am a cleaning fool and I want some serious props for it because scrubbing the floor with this belly is no easy feat.

The other day, Adam mentioned that perhaps I am nesting.  I got a bit hopeful that I might really be nesting.   I wish that deep cleaning everything all the time was in my nature but it just isn't.  Perhaps nesting is the explanation for this sudden urge to scrub everything.  Not that "excited for my baby to come" kind of nesting but the "random burst of energy and motivation to clean everything in sight because you are literally about to go into labor soon" kind of nesting.  Pretty sure it's not the latter though. Rats.

As much as I like to think Baby Boy will evacuate my enormous body soon, it doesn't seem likely.  He's in this for the long haul just like his big sis.  My magnificent womb is just too great a place to leave before it's absolutely necessary.  It's a shame really because I'm just certain we will like each other much more once he's not in my body.

So back to the cleaning.  The real reason I am obsessed with the cleaning is because I don't know when all this baby business is going down.  It can't be planned.  I am going to leave my house for a few days, whatever condition it's in, then bring a baby home to it.  People might even be in and out of my house while I'm not there to fetch things.  People will likely show up shortly after we come home to see our little bundle and hopefully give us food. I'll be in no state to dust then.  They will pop in on a house of squalor.

Visitors aside, I'll have this tiny, vulnerable nugget who has to have stuff around him relatively sanitary whilst I am recovering from his expulsion from my body and while wonderful yet grubby three year old wreaks havoc on my home.  I certainly won't be wiping baseboards then.  I'm pretty sure I will be just scraping by while adjusting to my new brand of chaos.

And so, I clean everything on repeat like a mad the world is going to come crashing down tomorrow...because it just might.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Little Fella

I've been brewing this little fella for a while now but I'm bad at blogging so I'm just getting around to writing about it.

That's our little guy at 22 weeks.  He and I are both measuring a bit big.  I have gained about five pounds so far.  It feels like 30...which has been lovely:

After about 8 months of trying, we found out I was pregnant on the morning of Christmas Eve 2014.  We decided to buck tradition and just spread the word.  We told Adam's family that night and my family Christmas morning.  I think another babe is a pretty solid Christmas present.

First Trimester:
I felt completely terrible the entire first trimester.  This baby has been much harder on me than Avynlee was.  I may have to get back at him when he's a teenager or something.  Really, it was awful. I was sick every morning, every night, and intermittently throughout the afternoon.  I ate a lot of toast and drank a lot of sprite.  Avynlee watched a lot of tv (like so much tv). Adam, Avynlee, and I all thought this baby was a girl (obviously we were wrong).

Second Trimester (so far):
At 16 weeks we found out our baby was a little boy.  We were all a bit surprised but we are excited.  Avynlee loves "Stella and Sam" and is really excited to be a big sister and to take her little brother on adventures.  She has been so sweet my whole pregnancy.  She already loves her brother so much and I know she is going to be super helpful (maybe too helpful).  Since seeing her baby brother via ultrasound, Av has been heavily dedicated to getting his room ready.  Far more dedicated than Adam and I.  Thanks to her constant nagging, the baby's room is no longer a storage room and now only has baby stuff in it.  The crib is set up and we've started gathering fabric and things for his nursery.  I'm hoping to get cracking on his bedding soon.

At 20 weeks, I finally started to feel decent again.  I'm still really tired but much improved.  If baby boy can make this pregnancy up to me by being a champ sleeper with a super chill personality, I would really appreciate it.

I'm 22 weeks now and things seem to be going swimmingly.  We're really looking forward to meeting this little guy.  We don't know his name yet but we have a list of about 30 to consider so far.  Some better than others.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Avynlee is 3!

Our best little buddy is now three years old!

Av's party was the evening of the 12th.  She wanted it in the bug room at Kangaroo Zoo.  We decided to run with the bug theme.  She was very specific with her cake design preferences and ended up loving it so I'll call it a success!  Her party was pretty much pandemonium but so much fun.  I think we may have to hold separate family and friend parties in the future.

We spent Saturday afternoon at the State Fair with Aliese, Darrin, and Melee.  Av loved the little interactive farm display and the huge slide.  It was super crowded but so fun!

We didn't have church on the 14th due to Regional Conference so we spent the day having so much fun with Av.  We played at the park, at macaroni and cheese, played with Melee for a couple hours, and opened more presents.  We also watched the Chica Show wish Avynlee a happy birthday with a card we had submitted a few weeks before.  It was such a fun filled birthday weekend!

Av had her three year old check up on March 17th.  We thought she'd need shots so we kind if prepared her for being brave.  She was so stoic the entire appointment and responded to every question very seriously.  Then she didn't end up needing shots afterall!  She even seemed slightly disappointed when we told her she didn't need shots but then ended up wanting to stay longer (she really loves Dr. Duffy) so we sat in front of the building while she enjoyed her sucker.

This adorable kiddo is still enormous.  She is 40.16 inches tall (98%, more than three inches taller than average), and weighs 36.6 pounds (92%).  Her speech is fantastic aside from her inability to say "f" and "v" sounds.  She is super social and loves being in ballet and swimming lessons.  She can count to about 15 and counts things specifically (not just listing numbers).  She can identify the letter, sound, and a word beginning with that letter for almost every upper case letter and about half the lower case ones (mostly the letters which look alike).  I post her responses to her birthday questionnaire soon.  We sure love having this little buddy in our lives.  She is so sweet, funny, smart, and beautiful.  Happy Birthday, Avynlee!

Sunday, July 13, 2014